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Divorce Lawyers

Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law



Maryland Divorce Legal Crier

News and comments about divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, equitable property distribution, father’s rights, mother’s rights, family law, laws on divorce and other legal information in Maryland.

Archive for December, 2007

New Year’s Resolution #1 — See Divorce Lawyer

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

?January is a busy time of year for divorce lawyers. According to this story from Wales, the holidays create a lot of pressures at the end of the year that combine to put stress on people in unhappy or weak relationships.

There are the financial pressures of gift buying and credit card debts, which may be heightened this year as a result of the housing market, credit crunch and rising gasoline and food prices.

The children are off from school and spending more time at home. The weather is colder and they are spending more time indoors. After the excitement of opening gifts, they are bored and cabin fever may start to mount.

When the inlaws are visiting, this can put further strain on a married couple, particularly in those cases where there are resentments and arguments and people are taking sides.

The media is portraying this season as an ideal time with happily married couples and perfect families. Real life is seldom like that and people may become unhappy comparing their life to those depicted by television, magazines and movies.

Finally, the new year is viewed as a time of turning over a new leaf, starting over and improving your life. People who are unhappy in their marriages may make it one of their resolutions not to spend another year with their spouse.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Divorce

Monday, December 24th, 2007

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve demands for relief,
Eleven prayers for property,
Ten thousand for alimony,
Nine hundred for child support,
Eight pages of interrogatories,
Seven requests for documents,
Six requests for admissions,
Five thousand for attorneys,
Four requests to enjoin,
Three pre-trial motions,
Two process servers,
And a complaint for a final divorce!

Sudden Divorce Syndrome

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

?“Think of it. A father could be sitting in his own home, not agreeing to a divorce, not unfaithful to his marriage vows, and not abusive, and the next thing he knows, the court has taken his house, his children, and a lot of his money, and then forced him to pay his wife’s legal fees and even her psychologist’s fees. And he can be threatened with jail time if he resists.”

— Stephen Baskerville, President, American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Washington,

The quote is from Sudden Divorce Syndrome, an article in BestLife Magazine. One in four men who were divorced in the previous year said they “never saw it coming” according to an ARRP poll. Only 14 percent of divorced women said they experienced the same unexpected shock.

Dr. Lori Buckley says, “The warning signs are usually there, but the male mind is simply not very adept at recognizing them. When women make up their mind that the relationship is over, they stop talking about the relationship. Men interpret a woman’s lack of complaining as satisfaction. But more often, it’s because she’s simply given up.”

And just because a man has been married for many years and is starting to create some wealth is no reason to relax. That exactly when divorce statistics swell. One divorce lawyer attributes this to wives deciding. as they approach age 40. that it’s now or never for getting back into the marriage market. It’s the same phenomenon as rich guys trading in their long-time partners for trophy wives. Only it’s the women who are shedding men.

Protect Your Gadgets with an E-Nup

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Do you love your iPhone or Plasma TV? More than your spouse?

If you are a gadget lover, a divorce lawyer in England has drafted an E-Nup as a way to protect your electronics in the event of a divorce.

John Henrehan showed me an E-Nup yesterday in his story for Fox Five News and asked me if it was a legally binding agreement.

Maryland law permits the parties to agree that certain property is the separate property of one spouse. The divorce court will abide by that agreement.

The Fox Five Inteview

The E-Nup (PDF)

Is a One Time Capital Gain Income for Child Support?

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

I was just ordering a cuppa joe and a muffin at the Starbucks next to the courthouse when I bumped into Ronnie, a lawyer friend of mine, who was looking kind of rumpled.

“Ronnie,” I said cheerfully, “you look like you are not having such a great day, pal.”

“Yeah, I just lost a hearing in front of Judge Wilde. I was trying to get child support increased for my client. The house just sold, under the divorce decree, and I was arguing that increased the ex-husband’s income by $100,000, the amount of his capital gains. Judge Wilde denied my motion.”

“I just can’t understand it,” said Ronnie. “The Code says capital gains are included in income. Look, I wrote it on my legal pad. FAMILY LAW § 12-202(c)(4) states:

Based on the circumstances of the case, the court may consider the following items as actual income: . . .; (ii) capital gains.”

“He mentioned some case named Tanis v. Crocker or something like that.”

“Well,” I said. “I’ve got my laptop here, and this fine establishment has free WiFi, so let’s look it up.”

In a few seconds, we were reading on Lexis about the dispute between Margaret Tanis and Michael Crocker over child support. The couple married in 1975, had two children together, and divorced in 1988. They agreed on $750 a month in child support. In 1994 Ms. Tanis decided to ask for an increase in child support, arguing among other things, that the court should include the gain from the sale of his house, about $60,000, in Mr. Crocker’s income.

Although the trial court increased child support to $1,032.10, it did not calculate or include the capital gains. Mrs. Tanis was unhappy with the result and appealed.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed the trial judge and sent the case back to him. The Court said:

There is no basis in the record for the trial court’s stated reason supporting its decision to exclude the capital gain appellee realized from his actual income. Hence, that decision was clearly wrong and an abuse of discretion….the court should reconsider computation of child support and whether to award attorney’s fees to appellant; it should determine the amount of capital gain appellee realized from the sale of the house; and, in accord with MD. CODE ANN., FAM. LAW § 12-202(c)(4), it should determine whether, “based on the circumstances of the case,” that capital
gain should be included as a part of appellee’s actual income. Tanis v. Crocker, 110 Md. App. 559 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 1996).

“So,” I said to Ronnie. “It looks like you had the right idea to try to include a one time capital gain to increase child support. But the judge has discretion based on the circumstances of the case as long as he decides whether or not to include a one time capital gain. And my guess is that most judges won’t include the house sale that is part of the divorce and a result of the divorce decree.”

Ronnie thought about this for a second, and then said, “The thing I like about being a divorce lawyer, is that you learn something new every day. Can I have some of that muffin?”

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